A Polka Dot Party

Recently my incredible friend Liz had a party to celebrate her 30 amazing years of life. Seriously, they have been amazing – I’m so in awe of that woman. She’s one of those ladies that seems to do everything, even though she would beg to differ, but compared to the average woman, it’s a heck of a lot. She has three beautiful children who are awesome and a fantastic hubby who she is devoted to

Here is Liz with her beautiful family – minus the baby, who is equally gorgeous.

She works part time, keeps a tidy house (unlike mine), turns up to gazillions of meetings, is always there for her friends, she’s the type of girl who will turn up with a meal in the middle of her hectic day, just because she’s heard you’re sick. And to top it all off, she was disturbed about what is happening to young girls these days, and the intense pressure our sexualised media places on our young women, that she started up a magazine!!! If you haven’t heard about Bella, a counter-culture mag for girls 13-19 years old, check it out here. If you know a girl within that age range go buy a copy for her. It’s got great positive content and is not smutty like most mags aimed for that age bracket.

Back to Liz. When I realised this was the year she turned 30 I was keen to help her out with her party plans. Because, it’s a well known fact, that I love a party. Since she is a classy chick, a garden party seemed just right. And because she’s a fun loving gal (not because she’s dotty) we decided on a polka-dot theme. People were asked to dress or accesorise with polka dots, and it was really fun seeing everyone in their dotty outfits mingling in the garden.

Anyway, I had a few projects that I’ll blog about in the next couple of days. Today I’ll share what our family wore to the party. The Accountant and I were easy, I bought a new dress (any excuse, besides I needed a new dress for work anyway…) The Accountant got a spotty tie. I didn’t know what to do for the boys. After all, you get polka dot galore fashion items for girls, but not so much for boys. I had a brain wave to make bow ties for the boys. Unfortunately I was so busy I only started them an hour and a half before we left! It took probably an hour, when you combined that with parenting moments and trying to make it up as I went along. If you know what you are doing, I’m sure it would be quicker.

If you want to make a little boys bow tie, here’s how I did it. I am sure there are better ways, I’m no seamstress by any stretch of the imagination. But if you are really stuck maybe you can pick up a few ideas. (Because I had limited time, I haven’t got comprehensive photos. Sorry if you are a visual person like me.)

1. Cut out two small rectangles of fabric. Fold a seam on two short side and iron.

2. Place wrong sides together, (ironed seams matching) sew around three edges, leaving a the ironed seam short side open. Turn so right sides are facing outwards and iron.

3. Cut two small skinny rectangles, sew wrong sides together again. Turn, so right sounds are out. This was tricky because it was so small and skinny. I used a pencil to help poke it all through the right way. This was the longest part of the whole process. (iron a seam in advance again.)

4. Sew the open ironed seam shut. Concertina fold the large rectangle. Twist small rectangle around the middle and sew into place. Sew to the back of the large bowtie as well so it doesn’t move.

5. Sew a length of elastic around, large enough to fit under a collar.

So this is what my happy family looked like at the party.

Happy 30th Birthday Liz! You are an inspiration to myself and so many others. xx

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Happy Heart Tips: Parties

Here are my tips for hosting a child’s party that will provide maximum fun for the Birthday Boy/Girl!

1. Choose a Theme.
    A theme can tie everything together, and provide focus while you are planning. Link it to something that    
    your child is currently interested in. Themes that my family have found successful: Teddy Bears Picnic, 
    Trains, Construction, Tools, Dinosaurs, Tiger, Fish, Princess, Hearts, Butterfly.

2. Plan, Plan, Plan!
    Start planning early. That way you can get started on some of the jobs that can be done ahead of time in
    order to minimize stress as the party gets closer. Write down your ideas, or you’ll forget them. The more
    brilliant the idea, the more likely it will be forgotten normally! Remember, google is your friend, do a 
    search on your theme and steal as many fabulous ideas as possible! Plan games to play (if the guests are
    old enough!) Plan food that will suit your theme. Homemade party food is always nice but not always as

3. Budget
    A heading to prove that I am an accountant’s wife!

    Even though it may not seem like it – parties are expensive. Plan a day that is within your budget. Don’t
    put anything on your credit card if you are going to pay interest on it. In fact, if you are in credit card debt,
    I question the wisdom of having a party in the first place. You can spend a fraction of the money in giving
    your child some treats. Plan for a low cost but special day. Your child will be happier in the long term
    having debt free parents rather than having an extravagant party for a few hours.

    I always find that planning in advance, helps me cut costs. I choose a theme a few months before and then
    keep my eye out for things that will suit the theme especially when they are on sale. Also buying gradually
    over time helps spread the cost rather than having it all in one week.

4. Construct a Guest List and Send Invitations
    I am quite liberal with my guest lists. I often have large parties, choosing to acknowledge the importance
    the invited guest has in the guest of honours life. I often include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins,
    church friends and mothers group friends.

     I look forward to doing a smaller party sometime, I think it will be easier to make it more detailed and
     perhaps spend a bit more money on each guest for party food and party bags. One day …. I don’t know
     when, those guest lists just tend to grow… !

5.  Take plenty of photos and make sure your child has a special day!
     It may sound obvious, but sometimes you can be so busy rushing around on party day looking after
     everyone else, you forget about the guest of honour! Make sure your child is having as much fun as
     possible! Get photos to remember the occassion – I find it’s good to have someone snapping for you,
     (Aunty’s are great happy snappers!) that way you get some of the shots that you would miss because you
     are making sure the party keeps flowing.

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Trent turns 1

There is few things in life that make my heart happier than celebrating my children’s birthdays. So hooray for the baby’s first birthday! You always have to have the first birthday cake photo, and I love this one capturing the thrill (and possibly sugar high) of eating your first birthday cake. Trent’s birthday was on Tuesday and he also had a first birthday party on Saturday. So he has now properly celebrated the momentous occassion of turning one, and now he can get down to the busy business of being one!

Teddy Bear Party – Games

The party went well, we had a first birthday Teddy Bears Picnic. The kids brought along their favourite teddy’s. Which was great for a game of “Musical Bears” which was basically Musical Chairs only instead of the kids sitting on chairs, they had to sit their bears on it. A little easier for that age group, and the kids LOVED it!


We also had teddy bear competitions We determined who had the biggest, smallest, best dressed and ‘fastest’. (Although no first place was declared in the teddy race and everyone got a prize!)



Teddy Bear Party – Food

After games we had afternoon tea. I was particularly happy with the service of this. I found some noodle boxes, which I bought in bulk which made them quite affordable. I wish I had found them at this price sooner, because I would have decorated the plain white boxes with glue and ribbon, perhaps some felt teddies glued on, would have also made a nice touch. But anyway, I filled the boxes with food and handed them out. So easy! It saved on preparation time, because I didn’t make a selection of goodies, the only baking was enough teddy bear shaped sultana muffins (nice and easy) for each child. I also included tiny teddies, chocolate teddy bikkies, a bag of fruit, a bag of gummi bears and a sandwich cut out in a teddy shape. One drawback was food wastage, as not all children ate everything. You could get the parents to choose the foods to go into the boxes to avoid this, but it would be a little more time consuming.


Teddy Bear Party – Party bags.

I couldn’t bring myself to buy cheap plastic toys that fairly promptly are disposed of for a one year old’s party. Instead I did goodie bags. (Bought the small clear plastic bags in bulk several years ago, had just enough left for each child.) I made teddy bear shaped sugar biscuits, iced them and put them in the bag with a few soft lollies. (in honour of the gummy baby and his little toothy pegs!) Much more economical, didn’t contribute to landfill and homemade always feels nicer to give away anyway!

Of course the birthday cake had to be a teddy bear! It’s actually become a family tradition. Mum made this cake for myself and my 2 sisters and brother. J bomb also had him. I was a bit rushed icing the cake, (was out the night before and didn’t start icing until 11:00pm. Eeep!) so I wasn’t 100% happy with him, and somehow I cut him so he was quite lanky. But never mind, the size of The Baby’s smile when he first saw the cake reassured me that bubs aren’t to fussed with the finer details!


It was a lovely party. The weather was lovely, pefect for children playing in the garden. The baby had such fun toddling around to his heart’s content, there was always someone to look after him! Being a social baby, he also loved having so many kids to watch and be around. I think it’s safe to assume he enjoyed the celebration.

On his actual birthday The Baby (for now, fast turning into The Toddler!) decided to start the celebrations quite close to 4:01am, the time he was actually born 12 months earlier. Needless to say, The Accountant and I considered this gesture completely unnecessary. In the afternoon his 4 cousins, 2 Aunty’s, Grandma, Grandad, Great-Grandad and Great-Nana came around to visit and help consume cake and teddy bear biscuits. Quite the family affair! Such a blessed boy to be surrounded by people who so completely love and dote over him.


We feel so very blessed that God has added Trent to our family. He is our little mischievious monkey, full of cheeky smiles. He’s cuddly and cute as pie!

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